Using TLB to Teach Foreign Relations Law

This post discusses Foreign Relations Law as part of our series explaining how professors can use resources on TLB to teach various classes. Previous posts have discussed Transnational Litigation, Civil ProcedureInternational Business Transactions, and Conflict of Laws.

Although TLB focuses on litigation, and Foreign Relations Law classes cover many topics that are rarely litigated, there is significant overlap.  The two main foreign relations casebooks (Murphy, Swaine & Brunk and Bradley, Deeks & Goldsmith) both cover a number of topics addressed by TLB including immunities, human rights litigation, the act of state doctrine, extraterritoriality, international comity, and the importance of states and state courts.

For all of these, TLB has posts that can help instructors reinforce basic doctrine, as well as other posts that highlight recent developments such as pending legislation, lower court cases with interesting fact patterns, recent Supreme Court decisions, recent scholarship (for example on the political question doctrine), and so on.

Recent posts focus, for example, on current human rights litigation litigation, helping students and instructors answer questions about what kinds of human rights cases can move forward following the Supreme Court’s decisions curtailing the Alien Tort Statute.

Finally, although neither casebook focuses directly on sanctions, instructors can use TLB to add some readings on this important topic, especially as it relates to Russia and Afghanistan. The sanctions readings allow for a discussion of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the recognition power, immunities, and interesting current policy issues.

Human Rights Litigation


Sanctions & Terrorism


The Act of State Doctrine

International Comity

State Law and State Courts